This intriguing mystery takes wisecracking Charlie Ginsburg to the postcard perfect Heaventown to write a puff piece for a news website. A reporter who’s much better than the assignment, Ginsburg soon realizes the town’s history isn’t as idyllic as advertised. Digging into the past and the town’s celebrated favorite son, Ginsburg digs up secrets that others will stop at nothing to keep buried.
Great characters, a fun protagonist, and elegant writing with lots of twists and turns
Charlie Ginsburg, a serious reporter with an impressive pedigree, protests when ordered by his editor to hit the road for a puff piece on a beloved but shmaltzy holiday movie that twinkles on TV annually like Christmas lights.
The movie is “Saint Billy,” which is set in Heaventown, a snowy, postcard-pretty hamlet in Upstate New York. Lakes galore, quaint shops, swell place to visit. But not for Charlie, who is repulsed by the movie’s stunningly corny, tear-jerky homage to the World War II heroics and angelic goodness of Heaventown’s long-dead Billy Temple.
Squander his talent on this weightless piffle? But off he goes.
The movie is a perennial tourist magnet for Heaventown, its lifeblood, the heartbeat of its affluence. But is Billy’s halo really golden or the grift that keeps on giving?
Stripping back layers of myth, Charlie discovers a decades-old murder among terrible secrets the town is hiding, along with a shocking new homicide. How far will some Heaventownians go to protect Billy’s legend…and their own livelihoods? Lethally far, perhaps, putting Charlie and his story–clearly no puff piece–in the eye of the storm.
About the Author
HOWARD ROSENBERG earned a Pulitzer Prize and numerous other honors during 25 years as TV critic for the Los Angeles Times, while also teaching news ethics, critical writing and a TV symposium at the University of Southern California. He previously published two non-fiction books and a mystery novel, UP YOURS! In addition to fiction, he now writes the blog ROSENBEAST and resides in Los Angeles with his wife, two cats and a bird, all of which tend to ignore him.